Do you have an analytical mind, good language skills and, above all, do you dream of a career where you help people and really make a difference? It might not be an obvious choice, but a job in insurance might just be right up your street.
We spoke to Claire Hardy, recruitment consultant at staffing specialist Walters People, about the role of claims Handler. She explains exactly what this role entails, which profiles qualify and what salary you can expect as a claims Handler.
What exactly does a Claims Handler do?
"As the name suggests, as a Claims Handler you handle claim files from A to Z," Claire quips. "Specifically, you act as the permanent contact for the customer who submitted the insurance claim. You build the file by collecting supporting documents, such as a police report in a traffic accident, invoices, medical reports, photos of damage, and so on. Once the file is complete, based on the information collected, you assess whether or not the client is entitled to compensation and determine the amount of that compensation."
Which profiles qualify for the role of claims Handler?
Helpfulness is at the top of the list of human skills required to become a Claims Handler. You deal with people facing problems on a daily basis, so it is important that you offer a listening ear, remain calm and guide them through the entire process. Analytical skills are also essential: you must have an understanding of insurance policies and be able to understand and interpret contracts. To prepare and assess the files, you must be able to work precisely and accurately, and have a critical eye.
"In terms of education, for a long time there was no specific field of study to specialise in Insurance," Claire explains. "Today this is different: several colleges offer a bachelor's degree in Insurance. A background or degree in a legal field is also a plus. Once you are employed, you often have to pass a series of certificates, such as PCP, IDD, Solvency II, etc. So if you want to work in insurance, it is an advantage if you already have some of these certificates.
Still, human skills remain decisive when looking for Claims Handlers. Do you combine a bachelor's degree with initial experience in administration or customer service and are you accurate and people-oriented? Then you definitely qualify for the role of Claims Handler.
You only really become a white raven when you also have the right language skills. Especially in the Brussels region, the need for Dutch-speaking or bilingual insurance professionals (Dutch/French or Dutch/English) is very high."
Are Claims Handlers currently in high demand?
The number of vacancies for Claims Handlers remained stable during the first half of the year, and even peaked this summer.
About 29% of vacancies are located in the Brussels region, explained by the fact that many banks and financial institutions are headquartered in the capital. Demand for Damage Handlers is also high in the province of Antwerp, where 22% of all vacancies are located (source: Jobfeed).
"We do indeed notice a continuous demand for insurance professionals," Claire confirms. "Especially experienced profiles with 5 years of experience or more, are rare in the labour market. Many employers therefore aim for long-term commitments and offer permanent jobs rather than temporary contracts."
What career opportunities are there as a Claims Handler?
"Large organisations often have a separate team for each type of insurance, e.g. liability insurance, legal expenses or health insurance. This quickly makes you specialise within one specific domain as a Claims Handler. To boost your career, you can choose to switch to another, possibly more complex type of insurance. That way you expand your knowledge and expertise, and open the door to a role as a team leader within insurance," Claire knows.
What salary can you expect as a Claims Handler?
As an entry-level Claims Handler with 0 to 3 years' experience, your gross monthly salary is €2,500 to €2,800. If you have 3 to 6 years of experience, you can expect a gross monthly salary between 2600 and 3400 euros. In general, salaries are directly linked to pay scales, so the more qualifications and experience you have, the higher your salary. This can go up to 4,000 euros gross per month.
"Of course - given the nature of the industry - the employer provides an excellent insurance package on top of the gross salary. Extra-legal benefits such as meal vouchers, transport allowance, eco vouchers and more are also part of the salary package as standard. Flexible working hours and the possibility of working from home regularly have also become the norm in the insurance sector," Claire concludes.
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